THIS FORUM IS FOR FANS OF DULWICH HAMLET FC TO AIR THEIR VIEWS BUT IS COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT FOR THE FOOTBALL CLUB
Hope you don't mind me joining up to possibly grab some info.
John Hammond is my cousin and I know he played a number of games for Dulwich in the 1960's at Full back or Centre Half. His brother David believes he might even be in the top few for all time appearances? Does anybody have any photographs of John at the time either separately or team shots, and some appearance data etc - although he still talks with immense fondest for your club he didn't seem to have kept much memorabilia and I for one would be very interested if there is some floating about.
Any info however small would be most appreciated, thank you.
All the best,
Re: John Hammond
Our club historian John Lawrence would be the best bet for any further info. I'm not aware of him ever using the messageboard, but you could try writing to him c/o the club if no one else comes up with anything.
There's a regular feature in our match programme "On This Day" which gives details of matches played by the Hamlet on the same day since WW2 including team line-ups and John Hammond's name often pops up in matches from the 60's. There's also periodically a list in our programme of all players who made more than 100 first team appearances since WW2, so I'll check that when I get the chance and
see if John's appearance tally is included. Old team photographs from the same era sometimes get included in the programme too.
It's always interesting when people mention relatives who played for the club in the past. You may find atricles of interest or relevance on this website:
I recall a recent contribution from Geoff Robbins, who played a handful of reserve matches for the Hamlet around 1966. His father, Horace Robbins is one of the clubs genuine all-time greats, one of four men who played in three Hamlet FA Amateur Cup winning sides in the 1930's and the first man to make 500 first team appearances for the club. Geoff recalled a couple of teenaged teammates who briefly played with him in the reserves and who travelled to and from the club with him as they all lived in the Croydon area: Steve Kember & Roy Hodgson!
I found the list of players with 100 appearances since the War and John Hammond played 247 first team games for the Hamlet. The earliest reference I found to him playing was in September 1961, which was just before the team went into a steep decline that ended with finishing bottom of the league for the first time in 1965/6 and again the following season. Then the club appointed Peter Gleeson, an experienced manager previously with Kingstonian who brought in experienced new players from K's and other clubs, and there was a relative revival with a lower mid-table finish and reaching the Surrey Senior Cup. The last reference I found for John Hammond playing was in the 1969/70 season.
Looking at the other names on the list, John would have started his Hamlet career in a side including a number of experienced players from our stronger teams of the 1950's such as goalkeeper Dave Darvill, left back Reg Merritt, centre half Denis Joyce and forwards John Everitt, Les Brown & Roy Wootton. But the spread of "shamateurism" meant the club struggled to attract the best young players as it used to. Brown left to join Wimbledon, Joyce went to Bromley (although he did briefly return a few years later) and as the rest of the old guard faded away there was a huge turnover of players for several seasons. John Hammond must have been the only player to feature regularly for us throughout the decade, from the dying days of the glory years, through the worst spell in the club's history, through to the relative revival that followed.
As it happens there was a programme article on a match in which John Hammond played only a couple of weeks ago, marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first floodlights at Champion Hill with a friendly agasint Chelse in October 1964 Chelsea were top of the League at the time and sent their first team, including Peter Bonnetti, Ken Shellito, Eddie McCreadie, Barry Bridges, John Hollins, Ron Harris and Bobby Tambling. In the second half they fielded their entire reserve team, including youngsters such as George Graham, Peter Osgood, and Peter Houseman. There were no formal substitutes in those days and the Hamlet fielded the same XI for the entire ninety minutes which was: Dave Darvill, John Hammond, Reg Merritt, Mike Woollard, Denis Joyce, Jimmy Day, Roy Wootton, Steve Dunwoody, George Nash, Albert Modesto, Dave Le Grice. The attendance was 4,021.
I also forgot to mention the Dulwich Hamlet Vice Presidents club, which I believe is co-ordinated by the aforementioned John Lawrence, whcih seeks to reuinite former Hamlet players and keep them in touch with the club. A couple for times a season they sponsor a match and all meet up at Champion Hill. Roy Wootton, who played in that Chelsea match with John Hammond, is still a regular supporter home and away.